Uruguay's tourism authorities are seeking to position their country as a "multiple destination option" for Chinese tourists, including creating air connectivity between the two.
"Our tourism offering (for China) has to be linked with those of other American countries and has to be done to sectors who can eventually enjoy a break before coming to Uruguay," said deputy tourism minister, Benjamin Liberoff, on Monday.
"We do not have airlines that connect us directly, we must triangulate and this level of flight hours (around 26) is not highly motivating," said Liberoff to the press about the China-LAC (Latin America & Caribbean) 2017 Business Summit, which will take place in Punta del Este, Uruguay, from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2.
For him, capturing Chinese tourism means having to be "prepared, learn the language and know how to provide a service."
"We are looking at the preparation we have to do...so they (Chinese tourists) see Uruguay as a destination. The first steps we took in this process was to ease visa requirements," said Liberoff.
In September, the aviation authorities of both countries signed a memorandum of understanding.
"Hopefully, in the context of the 30th anniversary of the start of relations between the two countries, which will be celebrated in 2018, Uruguay and China will sign an agreement (to open flights)," said Liberoff.
"From then on, we can analyze with private companies the way to move forward," he said.